RLL 46: There Are Goals, and Then There Are Goals
Happy weekend, everyone! I hope your week was excellent, full of learning and opportunities to show leadership. As usual this week, I had a great time teaching, coaching, living, and learning, and today I want to share a couple lessons I learned from coaching youth soccer that apply in other areas of life as well. The lessons this week are about setting goals, not necessarily scoring them in youth soccer games.
As background: last weekend was the first soccer game of the year (if you read last week’s blog post, I mentioned it just a bit; if you didn’t you can go check it out here: https://reallifeleading.com/real-life-leading-blog/h2z6f5p2n8cc766t46jmf59r8jmtth). What I didn’t mention last week is that, though we had fun and worked hard, we didn’t actually play very well. And that leads to the main point of this post: if we are to improve, whether in soccer, in our family lives, or in our businesses and education, we have to honestly evaluate what we’ve done well and what we need to work on.
The first thing my team needed to address was our inability to play as a team, to work together. Lots of kids all running around doesn’t actually mean we worked as a team. As legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden said, “Don’t mistake activity for achievement.” We needed specific goals to work on this week, and they had nothing to do with actually scoring goals in the game. So, my first question for you is: what are your goals? Short-term, intermediate, and long-term? If you’re not sure, then you probably shouldn’t be surprised if you’re not making as much progress as you’d like. So, lesson #1 today: set goals! For more specific info about goal-setting, check out the excellent work being done by Jon Acuff in his book ‘Finish’ (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N4VVT1Z/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1). [And for the record, I’m not affiliated with Jon in any way, other than following him on social media; I don’t get anything if you buy his book. I’m just sharing it as a resource.]
The second lesson for today, and this is just as important: celebrate when your team does well. When you reach certain milestones along the way, celebrate them! I spoke with the players at halftime of our game yesterday, and I asked them to remind me what we had worked on at practice. They were able to tell me, and so then I asked them if they felt that we had done those things better in our game. Every one of them said yes, and so I said, “You’re right, you’ve played great this morning!” They got excited, they continued to work hard, and if possible, we played even better in the second half of the game. When we see that we are making progress toward our goals, in encourages us to continue working to achieve more. Whether that’s in sales, in speaking, with grades in school, or with losing weight, we need to celebrate when we accomplish tasks.
The best compliment I received after the game was from one parent who said, “The season in our league is so short that we normally don’t see real improvement from the team and players until the final week. We’re only in week two, and the kids played so much better!” That made me smile as a coach, and I’m already excited about sharing that compliment with our players at practice this week. I hope that your week is also successful and that you see results as you move closer to your goals!
Action Step: This week, set some goals that are reasonable, measurable, and attainable, and then celebrate as you work your way toward accomplishing them. Then email me and let me know how it’s going!
As always, be sure to share this with friends, and also be sure to check out my latest media mentions and podcast interviews:
Podcast interview: https://soundcloud.com/user-461894793/episode-26-humility-with-guest